Fantasyland opens for holiday season

Photo by James Mitchell. For more than half a century Fantasyland has put on display a variety of holiday exhibits to the delight of about 20,000 annual visitors. The attraction at the Kennedy Memorial Bandshell will be open through Christmas Eve.

Photo by James Mitchell. For more than half a century Fantasyland has put on display a variety of holiday exhibits to the delight of about 20,000 annual visitors. The attraction at the Kennedy Memorial Bandshell will be open through Christmas Eve.

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK – One of Downriver’s longest running and most ambitious holiday displays is open and ready for another season. For more than half a century the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce has hosted Fantasyland to the delight of about 20,000 visitors annually.

Helping to kick off the 52nd annual display will be a pancake breakfast with Santa Claus beginning at 10 a.m. Dec. 5, for which organizers said advance tickets — $10 for all ages – are required. The event includes time with Santa, a walk through Fantasyland and photo opportunities. For reservations call 313-386-1817.

Each year the Kennedy Memorial Bandshell, 3240 Ferris, is transformed into a seasonal wonderland, with countless lights, holiday displays and special exhibits representing timeless classics – from vintage train sets courtesy of the Lincoln Park Train Club to an old-fashioned schoolhouse – with new additions added over the years. The exhibit’s permanent items include holiday decorations that had been rescued from the Ford Rotunda in Dearborn after a 1962 fire ravaged the building.

Displays at Fantasyland include volunteer elves helping Santa Claus prepare for Christmas. Candy making, toy repair and maintenance on the sleigh are common sights, as are the North Pole’s animal population as seen in the Arctic Zone.

Fantasyland will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through Christmas Eve, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 24. Admission is $1; photos with Santa are $3, or two for $5.

Proceeds from the event help support the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce. For information call 313-386-0140.

(James Mitchell can be reached at james.a.mitchell37@gmail.com.)